Day 5 of the SCBWI Spring Conference Re-cap. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of Abigail Samoun, so you will have to simply enjoy the tragically beautiful tulips wilting under the heavy snow that fell that day. Ahh, classic Oklahoma weather. We always have a random snow in March before spring is allowed to officially arrive.
That being said, when I wasn't looking longingly out the window and wishing I was back at home with my baby girl enjoying her first official snow, I was learning and growing under the able tutelage of Abigail Samoun, editor at Tricycle Press (an imprint of Ten Speed Press).
Abigail's speech painted a concrete picture of what an editor actually does. She began with a candid photo of her desk (well, we had to go on faith that the desk was there, it was not actually visible under her piles of books, letters, computer, slush piles, etc.) and continued through her job description, a motivational speech about rejection letters (and a tasty tidbit--if the editor personally signs their name, follow up!), and finally ended with some insight into the process of editing a manuscript.
Abigail told us that they generally receive 150 submission a week which amounts to 7500 a year (only 3-4 of those are actually chosen for publication). She did encourage us to submit since Tricycle is one of the few publishing houses that still accept unsolicited manuscripts.
As an editor, her job responsibilities include guiding a project through the development stage; championing projects (this point was brought home with an example of a book that wasn't immediately accepted in acquisitions, but she fought for and won); offering guidance and suggestions; keeper of the story's logic and clarity; helper to find the perfect illustrator, art director; and communicator with production staff.
Abigail made it clear that a relationship with an editor can be a work in progress. While you may not hit it off or get accepted right away, if there are signs of interest, you should definitely continue to reach out. It may take years, but developing a relationship with the editor can pay off in the long run.
Most of Abigail's illustrations centered around a book she worked on called The Day We Danced in Underpants. With a title like that, I was immediately sold.
**Due to my desire to finish up my SCBWI re-cap in a timely fashion, I have taken a break this week from the Wednesday Walkthrough series, but they will be back in full form next week!**